ANTHRO A2670 Nationalism and Cultural Intimacy

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2015

Professor: Michael Herzfeld

Theories of nationalism usually address the phenomenon from the perspectives of the elites that create its ideology and specific form.  Anthropologists, long suspicion of such “top-down” approaches, prefer to tackle nationalism as it plays out in social life, albeit at multiple levels.  We will examine some of the most popular approaches and explore ways of filling the gaps from the perspective of anthropological field research, examining the play of official ideology and familiar practices (“what everyone knows”) in a wide range of cultural settings, and will explore how the theory of cultural intimacy might also permit a rethinking of some of the most popular theoretical models.